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Voice 101

Before we begin our work together, a very basic education on the mechanics of voice is a great place to start. 

Like any other mechanism, voice needs a power source. In this case, the lungs provide the "power" in the form of airflow/air pressure. The upper part of our airway system includes the larynx (aka: "voice box") which is made up of two larger cartilages (thyroid cartilage and cricoid cartilage) and a set of smaller cartilages (arytenoid cartilage). The vocal folds (aka: "vocal cords") sit inside of the larynx, at the top of the airway (trachea) and are made up of layers of muscle, soft tissue and collagen. 

When we inhale and exhale, our vocal folds are open to allow air into and out of our lungs. When we swallow, our vocal folds close to protect from food or liquid entering the airway. To produce voice, our vocal folds close (not entirely) during exhalation and airflow/pressure from the lungs contact the vocal folds which cause them to vibrate. This airflow leaves the airway, enters up the vocal tract and continues to be "shaped" by the tongue, teeth, lips and nose to create speech sounds. The vocal folds also elongate and shorten which create vocal pitch. 

Again, this is a basic explanation of voice production -- but it is a good foundation as we explore your voice together.

Reference: Zang, Z., “Mechanics of human voice production and control”, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2016 Oct; 140(4): 2614–2635.

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